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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Halloween Garland Wreath

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I found this really cute Halloween wreath at a store but they were asking $20 for it. I was feeling exceptionally frugal that day so I decided I didn’t need it and could make one for myself. So, I set out to find the products I needed to make one. Who would have thought it would be so hard to find black garland around Halloween.

After looking all over for the black garland, with no luck, I stumbled upon some black and purple garland with ghosts on it at the Dollar Tree. I bought all they had to make sure I would have enough. I then purchased some small orange and black ornaments, some purple balls and some orange trim. The black and white ribbon came from my stock.

Before wrapping the garland around the foam wreath form I had to cut what felt like hundreds of ghosts off the garland.

I am a true believer in the power of three, almost everything I do has a triangle element to the decorations. Nothing feels complete if I don’t have three in this pattern.

I finished the wreath, but it felt like something was missing. On a recent trip to Gordman’s I found a glittery spider web with a glittery spider on it for $2.95. That ended up being the missing piece. I hot glued it to the back and I think it makes it complete.

Here it is. The entire project cost around $14.


Halloween Planters

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I don’t typically decorate the outside of my house much, except at Christmas time. This year I decided I would spook it out a little bit and add some Halloween decorations. I was inspired for this project from Pinterest. The Pinterest version was a Christmas one, but I couldn’t wait until Christmas, I needed to do one now!

I started with some inexpensive foam planters that my mother-in-law was going to throw away. They look like barrel planters, but I painted them black. I added some Halloween ribbon from the Dollar Tree and made some small bows for the front. And yes, I did tie my own bows! That is a popular question when people see these.

I purchased four foam pumpkins, four spiders (same type used on the Witches Hat project) and some colorful, whispy branches and bamboo in fall colors. All of these items came from the Dollar Tree.

I then spray painted all the pumpkins black and came up with different ways to decorate them. On one you will see a “L” that was designed from rhinestones that I pinned on straight pins. You might be asking why I did this instead of gluing the rhinestones to the pumpkin. This is because I am indecisive and wanted to be able to move the pins around in case I didn’t like it in the end. Here is my monogrammed pumpkin.

My second and third pumpkins are the same. Spray painted black, then I added some really cute trim stickers that I found at Hobby Lobby. The stickers were 12″ each so I cut them in half to get enough to complete my pumpkin. Note: the stickers are a little short on the top and bottom if you do this, but you don’t see the bottom and I added a rhinestone to the top of each to give it a more finished look.

My last pumpkin was created from large orange sequins and straight pins. I just randomly placed the sequins around the pumpkin. Also, you will see I added a fun “stem” to the striped ones and this one. I took the end of a roll of green mesh then hid my glue with some small feathers.

I then filled the pots with some old potting soil, arranged the branches in the back, added some black cloth over the soil, then arranged my pumpkins and spiders. Here is my finished projects.

Total cost: Less than $20.

Howlstooth and Scaringbone

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When I saw the new Stampin’ Up Howlstooth & Scaringbone paper in the holiday mini catalog, I knew I had to have it.

I love most things houndstooth, and my friends think I am odd for knowing what it is called! It just has a classic look in my mind. This paper is one way I have never seen houndstooth displayed, and I absolutely love it. The paper set also has plaid, chevron stripes and polka dots in it.

I decided I needed a cute Halloween decoration on top of my curio cabinet so while looking through Pinterest one day, I saw some cute letters on boards and decided this would be perfect.

I first used my Cricut Design Studio software to decide the sizes and fonts of my letters, then decided what size I needed my boards to be. My wonderful husband cut and painted the boards for me. I cut the paper so that one-quarter of an inch of board is displayed all the way around. I cut my letters out of black vinyl using a variety of Cricut Cartridges, including Opposites Attract, Plantin SchoolBook, Tear Drop, Lyrical Letters, Wall Decor and More and Martha Stewart Birthday Cake.

After attaching the letters to the paper, I used spray adhesive to attach the paper to the boards. I added a cute flower as the dot for my “i”, and was finished!

I plan to add some garland or something else to help decorate the top of my curio cabinet, but here it is with just the letters. I was thrilled with the results!

Haunted House Fun

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I was returning from a trip to South Dakota, and as always, my son was expecting a surprise when I returned. I stopped by Michael’s on my way home and found this really cute haunted house made from foam. It was one of those build your own kits. I have never purchased one before and was not sure if it would stay assembled, but figured a little hot glue can fix anything. I purchased it and my son and I assembled it a week later. It turned out just as nice as the packaging showed, and my son loved helping punch out all the pieces and getting to add on the extras. It is so nice that my son enjoys crafting, and this was able to hold his attention for more than an hour (the time it took us to assemble it). It is holding together nicely and no hot glue was needed!

I have displayed it on my wine table with my potion bottles and some mesh-type material that I found at the Dollar Tree. In total, the entire display (minus the wine table) cost $18!

Witches Hat and Candelabras

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Going to the dollar store is sometimes like house hunting. You have to look at what it can be, not just what it is. On a recent trip to the Dollar Tree I had seen a witch hat and some cardboard candelabras. I looked them right over. A week later I went back and my mind must have been on a creative track because I immediately grabbed these items and saw what they could be, not just what they were hanging in the store.

Here is a before picture of the hat, this picture shows it stuffed with bags to make it stand up.

It took me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted on this hat, but I finally settled on some ribbon, jewels, large sequins and a bow.

To help with the display on my end table, I added the candelabras. I don’t have a before picture, but they were just plain black with nothing on them when I bought them. To add some glitter and color to them, I used my Smooch and a similar product that I used by mixing Perfect Pearls with some water in a small spray bottle. Then, I took some of my jewels and added them to the flame and smaller ones around to add some personality to it. I am very happy with how they turned out. It transformed a very plain cardboard cutout into a fun decorative piece.

I also found these adorable little spiders at the Dollar Tree and purchased a few to add to some of my decorations. You will see one of these spiders by my hat. The spider legs are made from a pipe cleaner and I didn’t want the wire sticking out of the end to scratch my table so I put a little hot glue on the ends and let it dry to prevent the scratching.

On this entire project I spent $4, not including the jewels and spray I already had.

Bewitching Bottles

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I have seen these really cute potion bottles around at different places, but being frugal me, I didn’t want to pay the asking prices for them. I also love to decorate for Halloween, but again, don’t want to pay the prices for the decorations that I like, so this year I decided to make them. Of course, I went straight to Pinterest for inspiration and found just what I needed to get me motivated.

I had been to the Dollar Tree a few days prior and they had a variety of glass containers. I picked up a few of these, then went home to rummage through my glass recycling and found a wine bottle, balsamic vinegar bottle, and a glass soda bottle. Perfect! I simply spray painted the bottles with black paint then printed off some cute labels that I had downloaded from Stampin’ Up.

Total cost of project: $7

Here is the second set.

Easy Salisbury Steaks

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This is something that I kind of just created one night. I believe the typical Salisbury Steaks have a brown gravy, but I prefer white gravy so that is what I made, well sort of. As you look below you will see that I don’t have many of the actual measurements listed. My family prefers strong flavoring that I know is a bit much for others, so you can use however much you think your family would prefer.


1 pound of hamburger

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

1/2 can of milk



Garlic Salt

Season Salt

1/2 packet Onion Soup mix packet

If you are like me and prefer using a rice cooker over instant rice, the first step is to get the rice started. There are only three of us, so I typically use 1 1/2 cups water and one cup of rice, add a bit of butter to my cooker, and this produces about 3 cups of prepared rice. Use more or less as needed to feed your family.

In a mixing bowl, combine thawed hamburger, onion soup mix, garlic salt, season salt, other spices your family enjoys, and then take about a handful of crackers and crush them (not too fine, they help hold the hamburgers together). Mix this all up and form your patties. Begin cooking your hamburger patties. I typically use my George Foreman grill, but you can cook them however you prefer.

If you are using instant rice, now is the time to start that process. Again, make however much rice your family will need.

Next, in a small saucepan, combine the Cream of Mushroom soup (I prefer Campbell’s) and the 1/2 can of milk. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until the rest of the food is finished.

Once your burgers are cooked, your rice is complete, you can turn of your soup mixture and serve. We typically put the rice on our plate first, then add a hamburger on top (hubby and son like to add cheese on top of the burger), then add the soup mixture to the very top. Now it is finished and ready to eat.

All together, the prep and cooking time doesn’t usually take more than 30 minutes.

Yields 4 servings (may have burgers remaining for leftovers, or another round of Salisbury Steaks)

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